BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County is showing off upgrades to its 911 system, which took five years to implement.
The county’s last 911 system was installed in 1986. The new system is state-of-the-art, can handle more calls and it works better with all telephone switching systems. If the main system goes down, now there’s a full backup.
In addition, dispatchers can now answer calls from any of the 19-communities that are connected to the network. In the near future, it will also take advantage of information from smartphones and computers along with phone calls.
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, “While not effective as of today, this system will allow us to take text messages to the 911 system, allow people to post photos and videos with video crash data immediately to the 911 system. So it’s not just a phone call system anymore, there’s going to be many more layers that will be added on over time.”
He says the system will help save $700,000 in phone carrier costs alone over the next five years.